A Creative Kind of Corner: Quoth the raven, “nevermore”

Per request, sophomore Avery Sheltra draws a raven and quotes Edgar Allen Poe

Avery Sheltra, Illustrator

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Honestly, I have no idea why I decided to draw a raven today. I asked around, and got a lot of funny suggestions, and ended up on birds. Then my mind was drawn to Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” as it always is when birds are mentioned, for whatever reason. I spent awhile pondering whether I was feeling up to it or not, and then got hit with sudden inspiration. I had references pulled up and my pencil down on paper in seconds. It was a flurry of scribbling, erasing, repeat. I finally had the outline I wanted.

Then when I got into deciding how to shade it, I couldn’t decide what medium to use. I needed something dark, I knew that. Since I typically stick to black and white pieces while drawing on paper, and ravens are a dark color, I deduced that I needed to use either charcoal or chalk pastel. Graphite just simply wouldn’t cover it.

Finally, after a long, thoughtful process which lasted maybe a minute, I decided on charcoal. I have an abundance of the medium in all sorts of weights and strengths, and I knew it would be a good option for the shading of the the raven and it’s feathers. Starting with the softest piece of charcoal I own, I shaded from the bottom up. From tail feathers to head, I darkened the places that needed to be darkened most, and blended those together. After that that, I went to a harder charcoal pencil, and filled in the lighter areas, and then blended those into the dark, attempting to make it look as natural as possible. Then it was definition with a soft charcoal stick, and with a flourish, I had created a raven.

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